Laos Borders Remain Closed to Foreign Visitors

Lao-Vietnam Border

The government of Laos has chosen to keep its borders closed to foreign visitors, with testing and medical certification required before travelers can exit the country to ensure it remains free of Covid-19.

Following the case of a Myanmar national who tested positive for Covid-19 after exiting Laos, the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control has declared that all travelers, whether residents or Lao citizens, must carry a medical certificate before visiting another country.

According to Dr. Phonepadith Xangsayarath, Director-General of the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, anyone with flu-like symptoms, cough, sore throat, respiratory problems or a recent history of contact with a high-risk group will not be issued with a medical certificate for travel.

Meanwhile, the national taskforce has declared that only foreign technical experts, diplomats, and students will be allowed to travel outside the country. They must obtain an official letter from their embassy and need to declare the specific objective and details of their travel to the taskforce.

Patients who seek medical care abroad will be permitted to leave Laos but will have to meet the destination country’s entry requirements.

Several neighboring countries have introduced strict immigration policies, with Thailand slowly beginning the process of reopening its borders, while Vietnam is set to begin issuing e-visas to certain countries. Meanwhile, Cambodia will see all visitors make a USD 3000 deposit upon arrival before being sent for testing overnight prior to further travel.